After entering business for himself with a
trucking company at age 19, Outlaw Racing Street
Car Association (ORSCA) founder and president
Johnny Fenn claims he’s “never
really had a real job.” Now, in
addition to his ORSCA duties, Fenn owns and
operates Creative Wood Designs, a Monroe, GA-based
custom cabinetry business, as well as Inman
Park Granite, a company that imports and prepares
granite for use in custom kitchen installations.
After harboring an interest in fast street
cars since his high school days, Fenn says
the Outlaw 10.5 class caught his attention
in the early 1990s at a back-country eighth-miler
near Macon, GA. “I was just there as
a spectator, a fence leaner,” he
says, “and I was really drawn to the
street car look of the Outlaws. Growing up
near Commerce (Atlanta Dragway) I was used
to the NHRA and the bracket racers there where
you’d see a hundred cars covered in stickers
and all of them the same kind of cars, basically.
I saw the Outlaws as something really different
and exciting.” All ORSCA races are run
over an 1/8-mile distance, and alongside Outlaw
10.5, each event features Limited Street and
EZ Street, as well as 6.0 and 7.0 index classes.
Fenn sat down recently with DRO to discuss
the series’ inaugural season, the challenges
of becoming a race promoter, and where he envisions
ORSCA heading in the future.
What made you decide to take the plunge
and become a series promoter?
Fenn: Well, I had started going to races around
the South when it was always one of these throw-a-race-this-weekend
kind of outlaw deals and there was no conformity
to it; there was no set way of doing things.
It was exciting, and the fans loved it, but
I just saw the bigger picture and thought it
could be better and they could race at some
nicer places. I was hoping I could let fans
see what I saw when I first saw an Outlaw race.
I was amazed—and they were only running
5.40s and 5.50s back then.
Now, 4.60s and 4.70s are standard issue at
every race, so I knew that we had something
here. And being in the South, I knew we had
something else; we had the best of the best
in Outlaw 10.5 here. Everybody in the country
wants to run like these guys run. They race
every week; they put their whole lives on hold
for it. In business, you either have something
that nobody else has, or you have something
that everybody else wants, and that’s
what made me do it. I honestly thought that
I could make it better.
When did you seriously start thinking
about putting ORSCA together?
Fenn: Last year I started really thinking
about what we were doing and helping different
tracks put on races. Then, I wanted to do a
big, big extravaganza Outlaw show and I knew
it would be totally successful. So I went around
to tracks everywhere and talked to the owners,
talking about an $80,000 Outlaw race and they
thought I had lost my mind. Then I went and
looked at Huntsville (AL) Dragway and met up
with George Howard, and sat down and told him
exactly what I wanted to do and why I thought
it would work. And that’s when we did
the Drag Racing Action (magazine) thing last
year and it was without a doubt, the best Outlaw
race in history—so far. Even after it
got rained out and postponed, we had 64 Outlaw
10.5 cars, the fastest ones in the world. They
came from everywhere: Texas, Canada, New York,
Maryland, Florida, and of course from all the
southern states, and they all came ready to
Was that race a financial success?
Fenn: It was a very big success. Everybody’s
been trying to reproduce it since then, but
it hasn’t happened.